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Invasion of alien macroalgae in different Mediterranean habitats
Piazzi, L.; Balata, D. (2009). Invasion of alien macroalgae in different Mediterranean habitats. Biological Invasions 11(2): 193-204. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10530-008-9224-3
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Aquatic plants; Introduced species; Seaweeds; Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Sonder) Verlaque, Huisman & Boudouresque, 2003 [WoRMS]; Caulerpa racemosa (Forsskål) J.Agardh, 1873 [WoRMS]; Womersleyella setacea (Hollenberg) R.E.Norris, 1992 [WoRMS]; MED, Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Biological invasions; Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea; Macroalgae;Mediterranean Sea; Subtidal; Womersleyella setacea

Authors  Top 
  • Piazzi, L.
  • Balata, D.

Abstract
    The study evaluated different macroalgal invasions in the main Mediterranean coastal habitats on hard bottom. Biodiversity, species composition and structure of macroalgal assemblages were compared among non-invaded areas and areas invaded by the Chlorophyta Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea and by the turf-forming Rhodophyta Womersleyella setacea in three different habitats: shallow rocky bottom, deep rocky bottom and dead matte of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Results showed that alien macroalgae constituted a relevant component of benthic assemblages in invaded areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Assemblages invaded by Womersleyella setacea and Caulerpa racemosa showed lower values of diversity and large differences in the structure and species composition related to non-nvaded assemblages. The species that mostly suffered from invasion were erect species reproducing sexually; moreover, the dominance of W. setacea led to low abundance of native filamentous algae, while C. racemosa colonization seemed particularly threatening for encrusting algae. All the studied habitats appeared highly invasible by alien macroalgae, even if W. setacea appeared more invasive in deeper habitats, while colonization of C. racemosa seemed more serious in shallower habitats; the dead matte of P. oceanica represented a suitable substrate for the spread of both species. Differences among assemblages in different habitats were reduced in invaded areas.

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